Kings Dominion reports surge in applications

Posted Monday, February 2, 2009 9:28 AM | Contributed by Jeff

With company after company announcing layoffs, Kings Dominion is hiring. And applicants are flocking -- often from long distances -- to put their names in for a job at the 400-acre theme park in Hanover County. Against a background of record numbers of Americans collecting unemployment benefits, Kings Dominion is hiring more than 3,000 employees for its summer season. That's about the same as in previous years.

Read more from The Times-Dispatch.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 9:51 AM

I would imagine we will hear similar stories all over the country? Seems to make sense that applications would be up all over.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 12:45 PM

This is why CP doesn't need the bonus for employees anymore (or at least for the foreseeable future).

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Monday, February 2, 2009 12:59 PM

Yeah, it would do some of those people from the PointBuzz thread well to read this.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 2:08 PM

This might be the quote of the month.

"The amusement industry is recession proof," said John Pagel, the park's marketing manager. "We're always cautiously optimistic."

Normally, I would think this was said about 'hiring', but it was the marketing manager who said it. I wouldn't think any business is "recession proof".

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Monday, February 2, 2009 2:09 PM

I don't quite agree. You aren't comparing apples to apples. The Cedar Point bonus was put together in large part to KEEP employees, not to recruit them. And, that is a pretty important task seeing as the high school kids are many of the college kids leave during the height of August and some of their busiest days.

Cedar Point may not have a problem recruiting staff for the start of the season. I'm wondering what will be closed in late August and during the Bonus Weekends if the kids decide it isn't worth their trouble to drive back up (down/over) to Sandusky.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 2:36 PM

And in other news, CF laid off over 250 fulltime employees on friday...

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Monday, February 2, 2009 2:48 PM

According to whom?

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Monday, February 2, 2009 4:54 PM

I would hope that this would have a really good effect on the experience we have at these parks. Having so many more people to choose from, there should be a noticeable difference in the quality of workers. It can't hurt...

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Monday, February 2, 2009 8:04 PM

Does CF even HAVE 250 full time employees?

My first year there, I was one of the few who received the Employee of the Month. I had this absurd dream that I was going to get a full-time job at the park. After I saw how they treat their employees on a personal basis, and how they misrepresent the availability of full-time jobs, I figured out that I probably wouldn't want it even if I got it.

The bonus is needed because a lot of CP employees are young, and could probably go live at home if they decided that a 60 hour week, making minimum wage without overtime doesn't jive with what they feel they are worth. After working there for a few months, some people decide that they would be better off going back home and finding a job somewhere else.

Walking back and forth on a ride platform, 15 hours a day, six days a week sounds like fun at first.

Or if you work in the food department, working the same hours as a rides employee without being allowed any kind of lunch break all day kind of kills the magic as well.

The bonus keeps people from leaving. It is usually the deciding factor for most people halfway through the season.

I wouldn't trade the 3 seasons I worked at CP for anything. It taught me how to find joy in an crappy situation.

The bonus was the only reason I ever went back.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 8:26 PM

After reading the Richmond-Time Dispatch aritcle, I can see the rise in applications though the part about the two riving to KD from Berryville, I wonder about that. Berryville is only about an hour or so from Washington DC and usually when people are laid off in the Winchester-Berryville area they usually head to DC to find jobs. That part is very unusual coming from someone who lives in the Berryville area. Maybe those two just simply want to work at a theme park but using the economy as an excuse. Nothing wrong wth that of course. I don't know its the case but that drive considering when there are lots of high paying jobs around DC, that does make me wonder.

Not at all saying that KD is lying about the number of people applying for a job there, not saying that at all but it is common practice among businesses and of course the media to "spike up the number" in news reports/press relases whenever there is a downturn in the economy. For 15 years I worked at a radio station in West Virginia and often , and sadly our own news department often would do just that. Whenever a major company lays off people the highest number is reported even if only a small fraction of the employees would actually get the ax. Why? "..if it bleeds it leads". And on the flip side, if a company only has about 200 people filling out applications, often in their very owen press releases they would inflate that number too. 200 suddenly becomes 2000 for example. Again not saying KD is doing this but I have seen some other businesses over the years from Kohls Dpeartment Stores to even United Arlines who have done just that. Why? Its a "press" thing as my old news director once told me. Have to take those numbers with a grain of salt.

Last edited by Chriscub, Monday, February 2, 2009 8:28 PM
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009 1:15 PM

They did a similar story here in St. Louis about our Six Flags. Said they had about twice the usual applicants at their Job Fair and that they were seeing older people applying. I guess people are grabbing whatever they can.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009 1:23 PM

HW Knoebel said:
I would hope that this would have a really good effect on the experience we have at these parks. Having so many more people to choose from, there should be a noticeable difference in the quality of workers. It can't hurt...

I agree. If parks hire a lot of people who know the pickings are slim out there and actually appreciate their jobs, it might lead to a work force actually interested in the customer experience, not just putting in time between text messages.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009 3:28 PM

Customer Service has improved noticably over the past year in Anaheim.

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